2007 Rakow Commission Artist: Debora Moore

Debora Moore (2007)

Host IX-Epidendrum - Debora Moore

Host IX-Epidendrum

Debora Moore (American, b.1960).
United States, Seattle, Washington, 2007.
Blown and hot-worked glass
H: 96.52 cm, W: 30.5 cm, D: 17.8 cm
2007.4.70, the 22nd Rakow Commission

Moore’s commission, Host IX–Epidendrum, depicts a star orchid that was hot-sculpted by Moore at the furnace. Orchids of the genus epidendrum are ephiphytic, meaning that they grow on other plants. In nature, the pale, delicate flowers—seemingly fragile and luminescent—hang suspended from the dark trunks of the trees on which they thrive.

“There is a long and wonderful history of the making of flowers in glass, ranging from the glass rosettes of Bronze Age Mycenae to the late 19th-century botanical studies of the famous Bohemian craftsmen Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka," says Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at The Corning Museum of Glass. “Debora Moore is one of many artists today who use glass to explore the natural world. Her interest in orchids, and her dedication to studying the plants and their habitats gives her work a unique and powerful focus. We are delighted to add Host IX-Epidendrum, which is a beautifully conceived and executed sculpture, to our collection. It not only complements our historical pieces, but offers a new perspective on them."

Moore has worked in glass since the late 1980s and is known for her complex studies of orchids, orchid trees and bamboo shoots. Her pieces range from individual objects to room-%%size%% installations that suggest a primordial forest. She does not attempt to create exact replicas. “It’s not my intention to be a realist,” says Moore. “What I make is my interpretation.”

Moore was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1960. She studied glassworking at the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle and at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Moore was recently an artist in residence at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington and she was also awarded an artist residency in Murano, Italy. Her work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC, and at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.

The Rakow Commission encourages artists working in glass to venture into new areas that they might otherwise be unable to explore because of financial limitations. Over the years, recipients have ranged from emerging to established artists. Presently, the commission is awarded to professional artists whose work is not yet represented in the Museum’s collection. This program is made possible through the generosity of the late Dr. and Mrs. Leonard S. Rakow, Fellows, friends, and benefactors of the Museum.

Debora Moore was one of the featured speakers at the Museum’s 46th Annual Seminar on Glass (October 11-13, 2007). Attended by scholars and glass-lovers alike, the 2007 Seminar focused on nature in glass, and featured lectures, demonstrations and interactive sessions. Participants had the opportunity to make their own glass, observe historical flameworking demonstrations and watch contemporary artists creating glass objects. Seminar participants explored the Museum’s 2007 special exhibition, Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers, the inspiration for the year’s theme.


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